I mentioned in my previous post, a report on my CBT session with Celine yesterday, about her mentioning ‘resilience’ and that striking a cord with me. I think it deserves a proper post of its own as well.

As I said before, ‘resilience’ is common when talking about catching colds. I’ve also come across in it in my landscape architecture uni work, to do with adapting to climate change and a movement called ‘resilient communities’. I probably sound like a man (I’m not!) now likening health stuff to towns and cities. But it’s true, I’m familiar with the term, but for completely unrelated reasons, so it has felt a bit of a break through to see it applied to my own mental health.

I’ve often tried to think about what benefits I’ve had from antidepressants. The best I’ve been able to describe it is that they help make tears a bit deeper and further away. When I’m not awash in tears, its easier to think things through more clearly or have a sensible conversation with someone to work through problems and find solutions. When I can see a solution and a clear plan that will lead me towards it, then I get less anxious and am more likely to be able to keep to the plan and sort out a particular problem. Conversely, when I’m in tears, then everything is backwards: I can’t think clearly, I can’t get help, I can’t identify a solution, I can’t formulate a plan  to get me there, and then I feel even worse off, with anxiety thrown in as I watch myself going even further backwards. I suppose that anti depressants have been giving me resilience, in the same way vitamin C tablets help stave off a cold.

I’m excited that Celine has pointed out how there are things I can do to improve my mental resilience, even as simple as making sure I get enough sleep, eating three proper meals a day, and thinking to myself that ‘I can do it, it’s only because I doubt myself that then I have trouble’. I’m excited that with these concrete things (which I’ve been able to learn because I haven’t been in floods of tears, thanks probably to both mirtazapine and Celine’s calm, un-upsetting attitude), I can make a conscious effort now to build my own resilience and hopefully eventually no longer have to rely on mirtazapine!

I feel a bit ridiculous that it’s taken five sessions with an NHS therapist to help me see such a simple thing. I feel like I must have been totally wasting her time/their money. Yet  I need to remind myself that that shows how badly I needed help: I’d reached such a state that I couldn’t see such simple things for myself. Hopefully it’s been money well spent in the long run.

Or maybe I’m just feeling overoptimistic again. I hope not though!